LOT NETwork Too Big for Antitrust


While companies, inventors, institutions, and other patent holders have generally monetized their patents in some way, some entities have found that asserting patent rights is a lucrative alternative to traditional avenues of intellectual property (“IP”) monetization. Patent assertion lawsuits, especially those initiated by Patent Assertion Entities (“PAE”), have grown at an exponential rate over the last decade. These lawsuits have caused disruptions from industries ranging from pharmaceuticals to the auto-making industry through damage awards in litigation and “preempting” companies to divert funding towards potential future litigation. The License on Transfer Network (“LOT Network”) is one of many solutions developed to combat PAE — specifically by cross-licensing patents between members of the pool. Google and some patent pooling systems are no strangers to violating antitrust laws. This paper looks at how an attacking PAE or an antitrust watchdog would react to this particular type of licensing agreement.

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